Sexual Assault as a Law of War Violation & U.S. Service-Members’ Duty to Report
69 Stanford Law Review Online 1 (2016)
8 Pages Posted: 28 May 2016 Last revised: 11 Dec 2018
Date Written: May 25, 2016
This Essay considers when U.S. service members deployed to Afghanistan are obligated to report allegations of sexual assault by Afghan security forces against Afghan nationals to the U.S. military. The answer requires applying a longstanding Department of Defense policy for reporting law of war violations and hinges on whether there is a nexus between the sexual assault and the armed conflict in Afghanistan. Although recent attention on this topic has brought much-needed visibility to sexual assault in conflict zones, the overbroad assertions of the media and the military have unfortunately fostered more confusion than clarity. This Essay does not attempt to resolve the debate about whether there is a reporting obligation, but rather suggests the framework by which the issue should be considered.
Keywords: sexual assault, rape, Afghanistan, service-members, reporting, obligation, requirement, Afghan security forces, ASF, armed conflict, department of defense, DoD, directive, nexus, child, boy
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